People know that they shouldn’t text or surf the web while driving and yet hundreds of accidents in the U.S. involve someone using a phone.
As some states in the U.S. are pushing for better road safety measures by banning phone use while in a car, app makers are now working on making the roads safer by taking advantage of a smartphone’s hands-free technology. Instead of being a huge contributor to the problem, these app companies are now part of the solution by developing technology for safer roads.
In a previous article here on Ag Workers Insurance, we enumerated physical gadgets that can make driving safer. Now, let’s discuss some apps that advocate responsible mobile use in improving driver behavior in the U.S.
DriveMode is one of the most highly-ranked apps on the market for improving driver behavior. The app turns on automatically when the car goes more than 15mph, which means it is impossible to forget to turn on. When it’s activated, it automatically silences all text alerts. If a driver receives a text from anyone, the phone will automatically send a pre-constructed reply such as “I’m driving. I’ll get back to you as soon as I park the car.” Apart from text messaging, it also turns off distractions such as alerts from games and social media.
For parents who want to provide their kids extra security while driving, DriveMode can also be used as a parental tracking device. It can be set up so that parents will be notified whenever their son or daughter disables the app.
DriveMode proves that mobile phones can be useful inside a car too when used properly.
DriveWell is an incentive-based app that rewards drivers based on certain categories. The app runs in the background and collects data based on a person’s driving habits, speeding, phone distractions, and many other categories. Drivers receive a grade from 1 to 100, and, if they receive low ratings, the app provides tips for improvement. A high score can be used for getting discounted insurance and other prizes that can be used for car maintenance.
With DriveWell, drivers are inspired to keep their road behavior in check, as well as maintain sensible speeds in order to take advantage of the discounts being offered by the app.
Verizon Connect ELD
Last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforced the Electric Logging Device (ELD) Mandate, which made it a legal requirement for trucks to install an ELD. The Verizon Connect ELD comes with a lot of functionalities as an app, which includes a GPS fleet tracking system that allows operators to monitor and manage their workforce in real time. One of the main reasons behind the ELD Mandate was to improve driver behavior by preventing overdriving, which commonly causes driver fatigue. The Verizon Connect ELD device automatically warns drivers and operators when a violation of the legal time on the road is about to be committed.
Trucking was ranked as one of the deadliest jobs in the U.S. Statistics show that road fatalities rose to 11.2% in the past few years, but with companies now using ELDs these numbers could potentially go down. The ELD apps have revolutionized the logistics industry through improving driving behavior. The advanced technology in this app could be used in the future to help regular drivers improve their road behavior.
Drivers should never use their smartphone inside the car no matter what. The only time that they should be using it is through hands-free apps, which will help them become more responsible drivers.
Article by guest contributor Jenna Brown
Jenna Brown has written for car magazines for nearly a decade. She works in automotive sales in the day, and writes about road safety at night. When not dedicating her life to her passion, she plays golf and reads sci-fi novels.